Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a while. Fans of Monday Night Football have always had the television advantage of ‘seeing’ the first down line conveniently added for their viewing pleasure. A more advanced version of augmented reality can be seen here, where you can see information about all the nearest subway locations in New York superimposed onto your iPhone’s camera view.

And now from Ewan McIntosh I’m introduced to this application of Augmented Reality, possible due to face recognition software.

Ewan says, “…In a schools context this could be seen as lethal.” And then he asks:

“But there are some amazing potential side effects – what would yours be?”

I can think of a few that are really exciting in a school context:

• What if teachers could see a student’s attendance record, allergies, current marks and timetables.

• In class you could see links to a student’s current projects AND see your most recent comments/feedback to that student.

• A live RSS feed of all the things a specific student is working on in class.

• Students can see who still needs a group partner or search tags to see who is working on similar projects to them.

• Counselors and Administrators can see what a student needs to hand in, marks in their courses and office referrals.

• A quick scan of the room with your phone and attendance is taken. The office and parents can be instantly notified if a student misses a class.

Even without the face recognition aspect AR could provide classroom data like:

• What class is in session, what subject matter, what’s on the homework board, who the teacher is, and links for the lesson.

Concerns: Who decides what should be shared, and with whom? Do we want Big Brother kind of surveillance on students, or for that matter on teachers? That said, most of the information that I’ve mentioned is already tracked for students… on paper and in digital data banks. We aren’t talking about collecting new information, just providing timely information to people who could use that information to benefit a learner’s experience in school.

Seeing someone’s social networks is fun, and may be useful in social and work environments, but seeing someone’s Learning Resources and connecting to their Learning Environments… instantaneously… that’s something that can be very exciting for education!

3 comments on “Augmented Identity

  1. I just wanted to get on your radar that whil the face recognition software is being refined the technology is readily available to create the experiences you describe.

    I don’t know if you are aware of QR codes. In case you aren’t they are printed graphics that can take a smart phone to the web.

    An under appreciated capability is that codes can be unique for students. Personalized QR codes can be printed on ID cards, hats, tshirts or printed homework assignments.

    That probably means that each use case you describe can happen today. If you want to find out more, please @ or DM to ToughLoveforX.

    I’m a retired printer/educator who is trying to get the global print companies to focus this amazing technology on education instead of marketing.

  2. Hey Dave – hope you’re having a fun vacation.

    AR… interesting development with some dark and bright possibilities for sure. I think an interesting idea is full context recognition, time, place, who, why tied to learning schedules, commitments, status, attendance, contact info etc. “at-a-glance” automatically linked and accessible.

    How will we keep up and figure out how to embrace and protect ourselves from the continuous onslaught of new tools, ideas, and ways… hmmm.

  3. Michael,
    I am familiar with QR codes, but see little value beyond ‘entertainment value’ for education. Why use a QR code instead of a kid’s name? Face recognition takes a nameless kid and adds the name to them… it provides more information to use as you wish. QR codes take the name away from a kid, it adds a visually unreadable cloak to a students identity that needs digital translation to understand.
    Perhaps I’m missing something, but even for my blog, I created a QR code then thought I’d rather have my blog name or even a relevant shortened url than have a bar code that I need my phone to read. Using them instead of a students name is, to me, not much different than calling a prisoner by their number… depersonalizing them unnecessarily.

    Great comment, as soon as I read, why tied to learning schedules I thought about a grand learning hall where teachers and students could walk about and identify peers and mentors by publicly shared bios that they create depending on what they are learning about… oh, the possibilities!
    As for your question about how to embrace and protect ourselves from the onslaught… a great question that I’ll have to think about and maybe write a post about… if you don’t beat me to it 😉

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